Sync-Blocking Cables - A good idea in a USB-charging world...

It's taken a while, but USB has become the de-facto standard for charging mobile devices. (I wrote with joy about this a while back!) But to make USB power really convenient, we need one more step: the ability to just charge on any given USB port, without your device getting all smart on ya and trying to sync with the host. USB Fever is on the task, offering a number of "Sync Blocker" products - cables and adapters each with a little switch that toggles between charge-only and full USB connection. I already blogged about an iPod/iPhone cable that does this, but it's clear that we need more and more general-purpose sync blocking for all devices - heck, why shouldn't every USB cable have this option? Or how about toggling buttons for the USB ports on computers? A few years from now we'll look back and wonder why these things took so long!
[via CrunchGear & Gizmodo]

2 comments:

inquata said...

Seems to attack the symptoms rather than the cause. Why not do it like Android and have the option to switch data transfer on (mount the device) every time you plug it in? No annoying pop-ups by default.

Apart from that, I am not really happy that USB became standard. See also: http://www.uselog.com/2010/01/usb-plugs-why-not-make-them-really.html

Dave Gustafson said...

Inquata, you're definitely right that it addresses the symptom rather than the cause. However, if you're a user who otherwise likes their device, a cable like this can indeed solve the problem. (That's precisely the situation with me and my iPhone!) And by the way, I TOTALLY agree with Jasper's point on Uselog that USB connectors were poorly designed with respect to non-apparent asymmetry! Ah well...